Poirot reluctantly agrees to help an Egyptian prince recover a valuable royal ruby that was brazenly stolen from him during the Christmas holidays.



(dramatized by), (dramatized by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Frederick Treves ...
Colonel Lacey
Mrs Lacey
David Howey ...
Tariq Alibai ...
Helena Michell ...
Sarah Lacey
John Vernon ...
David Welwyn
Nigel Le Vaillant ...
Desmond Lee-Wortley
Robyn Moore ...
John Dunbar ...
Alessia Gwyther ...
Jonathan R. Scott ...
Colin (as Jonathan S. Bancroft)
Edward Holmes ...
Siobhan Garahy ...
Annie Bates
Susan Field ...
Mrs Ross


When Prince Farouq of Egypt foolishly lets a tart wear a fabulously valuable royal ruby, she simply walks away with it. With Hastings away in Scotland for the Christmas holidays, Poirot finds himself spending Christmas with the Lacey family. Colonel Lacey, a well-known Egyptologist, was one of the few people who knew the ruby was in England. As Poirot investigates, he learns that the Colonel is having financial difficulties and also that one of the house guests, Desmond Lee-Wortley, may not be of the soundest character. With the help of the children in the household, Poirot sets a trap for the thief. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

murder mystery | See All (1) »





Release Date:

24 February 1991 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(36 episodes)


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Did You Know?


The story has been published in several collections of Agatha Christie's short stories; "Double Sin and Other Stories" in the U.S.; "Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and Other Stories", "The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories", and "While the Light Lasts" in the U.K. and Europe. See more »


The cook had prepared two plum puddings, a large one for Christmas and a smaller one for New Years. The larger one was dropped while being cooked and it was stated that the smaller one was served at Christmas but during the meal it was obviously the larger pudding served. See more »


[first lines]
Prince Farouk: One of my father's most valued possessions. From the reign of the Pharaoh Pherisees.
[Waiter empties Champagne into his glass]
Prince Farouk: Some more.
Waiter: Yes, Your Highness.
Prince Farouk: And some coffee for the woman.
Waiter: Very good, Your Highness.
Prince Farouk: [as Iris rises] Where're you going?
Iris Moffatt: Just going to powder my nose; won't be a minute.
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Deck the Halls
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User Reviews

A total delight
28 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Theft of the Royal Ruby" is a Christmas episode, one which demands a special viewing around Christmas, even if you've already seen it. It is so warm and atmospheric will the feel of the Christmas season, it will put you right in the holiday spirit. And let's get real, sometimes these days it's hard to get in the mood.

With Miss Lemon and Lt. Hastings away for the holidays, Poirot is looking forward to Christmas alone in his comfortably heated apartment, a box of chocolates, and a few of his favorite things. It just doesn't work out that way. Poirot is summoned to help recover an incredibly valuable royal ruby, owned by the bratty, insolent Prince Farouq of Egypt. He let some woman try it on, and of course she walked away while wearing it. He's desperate.

One of the few individuals aware of the ruby's presence in England is a well-known scholar on Egypt, Colonel Lacey. Poirot consults him, and the Colonel invites him to spend Christmas with his family. Poirot tries to wriggle out of it, but gives up and agrees.

The family is very gracious, and Poirot's cover is that one of Lacey's daughters is seeing a man, Desmond Lee-Wortley, who has an unsavory reputation. Poirot, as far as Mrs. Lacey is concerned, is there to check him out. Also there is a man who is assessing the Lacey valuables, as the Colonel is having financial difficulties and has asked him to discreetly evaluate what he has so that he can sell some pieces.

Calling upon the children in the family, Poirot works on setting a trap for the ruby thief.

Really lovely and fun episode, with Poirot enjoying the family atmosphere and having a much better time than he expected.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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